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Our Fabulous Day at The Museum of Science and Industry

I spent a wonderfully, full day at MSI, (aka: The Museum of Science and Industry) last week with my family and my brother and his small family who happened to have been staying with us for a long weekend. When my brother and his family were planning this small vacation from their home in very rural Iowa, I asked them what museum would they most like to see while in Chicago. They instantly responded Museum of Science and Industry and why not, naturally. MSI happens to be one of our favorite museums to play for the day at.

We all arrived early in the morning to be able to spend the entire day walking through the halls of MSI to view the exhibits and take part in all the experiences we could fit in during the seven hours we planned to be there. The drive to MSI couldn't have been more beautiful along Lake Shore Drive last Friday morning. A great view for a little family from Iowa to see for the first time!

We walked into the fabulous MSI and went off to see Dr Seuss first. We were not allowed to take any photos inside the exhibit because some of the wonderful and fabulous works had yet to be released to the public. My children and nephew were building and inventing their own contraptions using Seussian wheels, horns and tubes. They were then called over to sit and watch Oobleck being created. My son was called up and he was able to make some hypothesis about what would happen if he smashed the Oobleck and then he was able to smash the Oobleck. So much fun! If you are visiting MSI anytime soon, be sure to visit the There’s Fun to Be Done! Dr. Seuss & The Art of Invention! exhibit before it leaves in January. Really, there are some spectaculars drawings, sculptures, drawings and advertisements to see and read. Dr Seuss was so very whimsical and creative (I secretly wish he was my parent!).

quickly taken with my camera phoneWhat to do next? Where to go next? What hall to venture down? There was so much to do and so much to see . . . but the hearts of all the children were set on Science Storms. We learned about tornadoes, avalanches, lightening, fire, tsunamis, sunlight and atoms. We watched the Avalanche Disk in amazement. We couldn't stop playing with Newton's Cradle. I drooled over the Elements Table (I secretly want one in our homeschool classroom at home).

We all tried our hand at the Ferrofluid (which is addictive to play with!). The boys were especially intrigued by the fire vs water experiment. Removing color from wavelengths was very cool and I personally loved using the Fresnel lens on the pools of water.

The Ripple Tanks were fun to play with, but playing with air flow was pretty much the most exciting exhibit in Science Storm for my kids. Once again, my son was chosen and he was able to enter the vortex in the Science Storms Tornado section. Do you know what conditions are required for a vortex to occur? (ask my son, he can tell you).

Who you are depends on how you care for yourself and enjoy your life. The YOU! The Experience showed us all how this occurs. My kids were fascinated by the Prenatal Development, as was I. It was an amazing exhibit to see. My girls kept asking me if they were that small. The Your Movement experience is so much fun to watch and all of us tried out the Hamster Wheel, my daughter even lost her boots because she was running so fast. My brother and my nephew were the two with the highest heart rates and everyone had a good laugh in the Laugh Garden.

We all stopped for a lunch break in the lower level and let the children regenerate for a bit. MSI has a wonderful cafeteria in the lower level with fresh-made pizzas, made-to-order deli sandwiches, fresh-tossed salads, cooked-to-order grilled items and more. We all enjoyed our lunch there and a bit of a rest.

We split up at this point because the girls wanted to see Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle which is absolutely amazing. Whether you are young or old, it is something to see and hear. The Fairy Castle is taller than my little one and has tiny furniture, working lights and is just simply gorgeous (secretly my daughters want to bring it home with us and I couldn't argue one little bit).

The girls had a great time milking cows, climbing on cows and tractors at Farm Tech. All my (old high school Iowa) friends were so happy to see a John Deere tractor on my facebook page!

Since my son is obsessed with the NetWorld, he took his cousin there while we were downstairs to share his love for this area. He literally would stay in this exhibit all day if we would let him. When we met back up a bit later, the first comment he said to me was "I didn't get enough time in NetWorld today, can we come back tomorrow".

We all also had time to go check out the fabulous trains, look at the transportation gallery, see the Wright Flyer, watch a baby chick hatch (my son was so upset wondering where do the chicks go after they leave the incubator{we hatched some chicks in the spring and turned ours over to a farmer and it was very traumatic}). I took the girls to the Eye Spy hall while everyone else went down to view the U-505 submarine.

My brother was especially enamored with this exhibit and can't wait to come back again and spend more time there. We didn't have time to enter to Coal Mine, but will keep this in mind for the next trip.

What the children particularly liked about the day at the Museum of Science and Industry were the Hands On Science Experiments found throughout the main level. I just have to add that the employees tasked to work with the visitors at these stations are fabulous. I repeat, F A B U L O U S! We spoke with each and everyone stating our pleasure in their representations, backgrounds and their all around demeanor. Perfect employees for these experiences with children.

We were able to watch the Happy Brrr-Thday program at the end of our day and it was the best way to end out day! My son was once again chosen to participate in the action (I told you, the kid has luck). If you have children (or even if not) this is one experience to not miss. Happy Brr-Thday is all about balloons, noisemakers and tasty treats all activated with super cold liquid nitrogen.

We all had such a fabulous day and The Museum of Science and Industry is truly a fantastic family mall and the most perfect place to take out of towners to. My brother and his little family were smiling all day and kept saying "this is the best museum ever" all day long (and all day the next day too). My children can't wait to get back to view all the beautiful Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibit. We went last year and it fast became a yearly tradition to include in our family traditions.

Also coming to MSI in March 2012 is (drum roll playing here for effect . . . . ) MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition. My son can barely contain his excitement! If you are looking for a fun family day over the holiday, MSI combines learning with fun, and that is its greatest claim to fame.

Thanks to MSI for such a lovely, fun filled family day! (PS: we never found  this gentleman . . . Kevin, he's currently residing at MSI for a month  . . . hope he's having fun).

Museum of Science and Industry is a great museum to go to for a fabulous learning experience with your children and family. You don’t have to worry about your kids being quiet or not touching anything! Prices are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Be sure to follow MSI on Facebook and Twitter as a great way to stay informed about upcoming events, exhibits and promotions.

Disclosure:  My opinions are my own. No compensation has been received. I  received admission to MSI for my family.

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